The police, 1987 and Áine Adams: the gorilla in the toilet

It’s sort of fun being a blogger. You get compliments from some people, more often you get brickbats from others. The most common brickbat I get fired my way is that I’m an unthinking mouthpiece for republicanism. Especially the IRA.  If you took these kind of charges seriously you’d be heading either for your solicitor or a mental hospital. Fortunately I don’t take them seriously. I openly concede that I approach the political world from a nationalist/republican perspective but I like to think my brain isn’t totally addled.
At the same time there’s a background implications that goes with the brickbats. It is that the mainstream media are balanced, objective, conveyors of the whole truth. If pressed, there’ll be the concession that some – say the Indo –  are, how shall we put it, not totally cheerleaders for republicanism. But a broadcaster like RTÉ or a newspaper like The Irish Times is free from such selective bias. 
Which makes an article in this morning’s paper a bit disruptive of that  take on our media. It’s by Gerry Moriarty, and it tells how Gerry Adams is “under pressure” over the Liam Adams case. It tells how Adams has always escaped from tight political corners but this one is different. And its concluding paragraph tells the reader about “claims that Adams acted in a calculated self-interested fashion to avoid charges of with-holding information about child sexual abuse and to save his ‘political skin’ ”. 
You’ve heard it all before. And you know that there are people in the media who, if they found evidence that Gerry Adams had picked his nose in 1962 would use that as a weapon to demand his removal as president of Sinn Féin. What makes the article interesting – and so many other articles like it – is the failure to mention the role of the police in all of this.
Surprising, isn’t it? Clearly it’s vital to everyone living in the jurisdiction – and beyond – that the police act in an even-handed and lawful way. Everyone by now knows that the police in 1987, instead of responding to the complaints of sexual abuse reported to them by Áine Adams and her mother, tried instead to turn her into an informer. Who were these police people? Was there much of it around? Are any of the people involved still working in the PSNI? These are surely matters of greater importance than who leads Sinn Féin.

Because if there’s another story of public interest attached to the Liam Adams case, the conduct of the police must be it. They were in possession of the crucial facts of the case in 1987 but ignored them and pursued their own tout-creating concerns. You’d think that an impartial, high-minded media would have latched onto that immediately and pursued the trail as far as possible. Nah – doesn’t fit the narrative, that. So much more fun trying to nail the top Shinners man.

8 Responses to The police, 1987 and Áine Adams: the gorilla in the toilet

  1. Anonymous October 15, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    ruc/psni have lots of questions to answer on this case and equally so does gerry adams

  2. Anonymous October 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Gerry called it ‘a witch hunt’, more of a PIE hunt I would say.

    Morris Fraser, the Belfast psychiatrist who did research into the effects of ‘the troubles’ on children. Morris Fraser apparently also did ‘youth work’ with young boys in Ireland?

    Did any of that happen after 73?

    Rotten apple or rotten barrel? Limited hangout or properly dealt with?

    What was that case in America about where Morris Fraser was indicted but denied committing sexual offenses with boys?

    Didn’t Morris pop up in the Azimuth Trust case?

    What happened after that case, was Morris struck off?

    Teflon coated NI psych? Why?

    What of Liams claims of `very well-organised arrangement’ in light of this?

    1. – In psychologist Morris Fraser’s many interviews with young boys he found that typically children of eight and a half could explain how to make petrol bombs and Junior Orange Lodge members casually stated that all Catholics should be killed or burned. Fraser claimed that Ulster children at the time, were used as never before in guerrilla warfare and that their training also began early. As a leader of a youth organisation in one of Belfast’s mixed areas he regularly witnessed the acts of children, noting that they often overstepped boundaries of respectability towards the dead.


    3. – 8 Indicated in ‘Boys-for-Sale’ Ring; Inquiry Continues – By DAVID A. ANDELMAN Special to The New York Times, May 04, 1973, , Section , Page 44

    4. – PSYCHIATRIST DENIES SEX-ABUSE CHARGES – Dr. Morris Fraser, the Belfast psychiatrist who was indicted along with seven other men in New York on Thursday on charges of committing sexual offenses with boys, said today that “my innocence is beyond Question.”

    5. – Western News reports, 1993/94. PIE member Dr. Morris Fraser started the Azimuth Trust charity as a front so he and his friends could sexually abuse vulnerable boys on sailing trips. The skipper, Michael Johnson, was jailed, but several other paedophiles connected to Azimuth Trust walked free.

    6. – Exposed: Ireland’s vile child-sex rings – ‘Liam Adams says there is a strong local involvement in what he described as a “very well-organised arrangement” which may also have links in Donegal. “We have names of well-known business people who we are 100pc sure are involved.’But he says that the authorities should be doing more to investigate the situation based on the evidence which has emerged so far. Registration numbers gathered by social workers who have conducted their own surveillence on activities based around Dundalk during the last two years have been handed over to the gardai for further investigation.’

    • Jude Collins October 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

      I think No 6 is a very interesting point and one that’s (astonishingly) been glazed over.

    • Mick Fealty October 15, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      Ahem, not by us Jude

      As for the attempt to ‘turn’ Aine, I’ve seen nothing so clear cut mentioned by either Aine or her mum…

      There’s a reference from the mum getting advice from ‘social workers’ not to go back to the police, but since social services have denied they played any part at that stage as intermediaries between Aine and the police, your guess is as good as mine as to whom they were..?

      The complaint was dropped a couple of weeks later, I think.

    • Jude Collins October 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      So would you say the cops had no interest in recruiting Áine as an informer? Mmmm.

  3. Anonymous October 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Would it not be more accurate to say that you “approach the political world” from a Sinn Fein perspective ?Using the term “nationalist” implies both Sinn Fein and the S D L P.It could hardly be said that you are overly sympathetic to the S D L P. Clearly the R U C at that time have many questions to answer for their approach but that hardly absolves Gerry Adams from scrutiny.Would you be as supportive of the leader of any other political party if he was in the same situation as Gerry?

    • Jude Collins October 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      Well yes – last time I looked SF were a republican party. ‘Nationalist’ describes the SDLP? Mmm – have to think about that one. But would I be as supportive of the leader of another party in same situation? It wouldn’t happen. No leader I can think of in Ireland would receive the repeated attacks that GA gets from the mainstream media. Or anything like.

  4. Anonymous October 15, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    In your world then,Gerry Adams would be beyond criticism .Surely the leader of any political has to take the brickbats that go with the position and of course the occasional credit.By comparison with Martin Mc Guinness ,does Gerry not bring a lot of the opprobrium on himself(eg the fiction that he was never in the I R A)?Perhaps you would enlarge on your hesitation in describing the S D L P as “Nationalist “